Thursday, January 16, 2014

3 things some people just can't seem to get about MY depression

So, I have a rule.  I do not blog while depressed.  It makes for depressing reading and, frankly, nobody wants to hear it.  But there are some things I need to get off of my chest.

I have MDD, or Major Depressive Disorder.  It has a huge effect on my life.  It has affected my personal, business, and spiritual life.  I can describe it in thousands of words, but I will encompass it with two: Depression sucks.  Like the Dementors in J.K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter series, it suck out all of the joy in you.  It leaves you empty and cold.  I hate it.

I can't speak for everyone who has this disorder.  I'm not eloquent or smart.  I am, unfortunately, very human.  I make a lot of mistakes.  But there are some things that must be said.

In talking to others about my condition, whether in the midst of an episode or during one of my high points, I've run into different misconceptions about it.  Some are upsetting, some are laughable, and others are just confusing.  So here are my 3 things that people just can't seem to get about MY depression:

1. It is not your fault.

No, it's not.  Calm down.  When I'm venting to you about this, I'm not blaming you or trying to make you feel bad.  I'm trying to connect with someone.  I'm trying to get through something. The fact that you made a flippant remark about my weight did not cause me to spiral in despair.  I did not suddenly develop a mental disorder when you were too busy to hang out.  It is not your fault.  I asked for your help because I trust you and want your help, not your pity.

2. I can't _____ my way out of it.

"Well, if you just lost some weight..." "Well, if you didn't sleep so much..." "Well, if you just decided to be happier..." "You just have to be more positive..."
"...then you wouldn't have these problems."

I did not wake up in the morning and say, "Hey, I think I'll have crippling depression today!  I'm going to lay paralyzed in bed and ponder on how to kill myself!  Then I'll cry myself back to sleep and not shower again!  That sounds like the perfect way to spend these next 24 hours!"  I do not know about others, but when I'm at a low I cannot remember how to be happy.  I can't remember how to smile or laugh.  I cannot remember how to FEEL.  So, thank you for trying to help me, I guess...

Sure, I'd love to get up in the morning and go on a run.  Honestly, though, I can barely make myself get up and dressed for work before 9 a.m.  Getting most things done is almost monumental.  I remember being so proud of myself for taking a shower and eating breakfast for the first time in a week.  Sometimes the small victories are the only ones.

3. I'm not doing this for attention.

But thanks for telling me that.  Because there is NOTHING I crave more than your attention...

I'm not doing this to target people or even just to complain.  I just want people to be aware.


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